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Flashback: LP liner notes and synth credits


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I decided to use this morning to clean up my studio and decided to peruse my LP collection just delivered up from my mom's house in Florida.


Among the gems in my collection (including two pristine copies of MJ's "Off the Wall" and "Thriller"), I came across an empty jacket liner for one of Ramsey Lewis' project (I think it is "This Ain't No Fantasy"). On most songs, various credits read like this:


Ramsel Lewis: Steinway Concert Grand, Yamaha DX7, Yamaha TX-216 Midi Rack

Phillip Stewart jr.: Roland Super Jupiter

Morris "Butch" Stewart: Emulator, Prophet 5, Linn Drum, Roland MSQ-700

Patrick Leonard: Oberheim OB-8, Roland TR-808


And so on.


I remember when I first began my exploration musically, dropping the needle on the LP, pulling out the liner notes and reading was a ritual that didn't require a magnifying glass and playing synths was a big deal worthy of serious notice and call out in record liner notes. They were seen and respected as INSTRUMENTS in their own right, not merely tools.


Nowadays, what we play is relegated to simply "keyboards" and even more rare are people who get credited with "keyboard programming". Even now, my friends look at me strange because I know how to dig under the hood of most any synth put in front of me to tweak and program, like it is truly rocket science.


Reading the notes brought back a lot of great memories. I think I will be eeking out some time for LP-to-MP3 conversion to get reacquainted with those memories (*adding a USB turntable to my G.A.S. list)...

Yamaha (Motif XS7, Motif 6, TX81Z), Korg (R3, Triton-R), Roland (XP-30, D-50, Juno 6, P-330). Novation A Station, Arturia Analog Experience Factory 32


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Less a sign of the times, I think, and more a matter of (a) Lewis is a keyboard player and (b) CD's have less space without doing a more expensive booklet. No shortage of mere "keyboards" credits back in the 70's, though I think it got better for a while in the 80's which is when your album must be from.


But I think you're right that fewer keyboard players know what's going on under the hood. Back then, we needed to know! Those things didn't play themselves, the way they almost do now. ;)


I confess I spend a lot less time under the hood than I used to. At 50+, I'd rather spend the time musically than technically. Not that it's "either/or", of course. My hat's off to those who can keep up!


Hmm, I have a nice Thorens turntable up in the attic. I wonder why ... decent cartridge in it still, too (Sonus Blue). Anyone want to make an offer? ;)


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